The Ohio State fencing program placed 14 standouts on the Big Ten Distinguished Scholar list, the Big Ten Conference announced Wednesday.
Big Ten Faculty Representatives established the Distinguished Scholar Award in 2008 to supplement the Academic All-Big Ten program. Distinguished Scholar Award recipients must have earned Academic All-Big Ten recognition in the previous academic year, must have been enrolled full time at the institution for the entire previous academic year (two semesters or three quarters) and earned a minimum GPA of 3.70 or better during the previous academic year, excluding any summer grades. The Academic All-Big Ten threshold is a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher for a student’s academic career. In all, the B1G honored 1,517 student-athletes across the conference as Big Ten Distinguished Scholars for 2019-20.
Three fencers – Leon Cao, Gabriela Cecchini and Aleksandra Kolmykova – were recognized for posting 4.0 grade-point averages for 2019-20.
On the women’s side, seniors Natalia Falkowski (international business) and Kolmykova (finance) end their careers as three-time Big Ten Distinguished Scholars. Cecchini (economics) is a two-time honoree and Nicole Fisher (psychology), Alexa Laskaris (health sciences) and Sarah Merza (psychology) earned the accolade for the first time.
For the men, Leon Cao (electrical and computer engineering), Chris Collado (political science), Matthew Comes (mechanical engineering), Matthew Hayes (psychology), Henry Lange (linguistics) and Roscoe Swartz (health sciences program) were all recognized for the first time. Ethan Edwards (political science) and Domenik Koch (specialized master’s in business-finance) are now two-time honorees.